Old North State Report - February 3, 2017
It was another slow week at the General Assembly, which isn’t atypical for the beginning of a long session.
Committees have been appointed by the President Pro Tempore in the Senate:
Committees have also been appointed by the Speaker in the House:
No committee meetings were held and only a handful of bills were dropped into the hopper. Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on your perspective), there is plenty of time for members to introduce legislation according to this year’s deadlines:
Senate Democrats did file legislation to repeal last year’s controversial House Bill 2 (“Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act”):
A December 2016 effort to repeal the measure ultimately collapsed amid accusations and top Republican leaders say that any repeal effort this year would likely involve a compromise where local governments would be limited in their ability to approve new LGBT protections. Democrats argue a clean repeal is both preferable and possible.
Another partisan fight is brewing over who has the authority to sign off on the new governor's Cabinet appointments. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has announced eight appointments with two more to be named in the coming weeks. The state Constitution conditions a governor's appointments on the "advice and consent" of a majority of the (currently Republican) Senate, although that has not been the previous practice and the Governor is arguing in court that it doesn't include Cabinet appointments.
Until and unless a judge rules otherwise, the Senate is scheduling the vetting process. Observers believe the two most potentially tricky selections are Michael Regan (Department of Environmental Quality) and Mandy Cohen (Department of Health and Human Services). Thus far, the Cooper administration has yet to say if it will comply with the Senate’s request for its nominees to appear and answer questions.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.